Is there a cure for MS?
There are now a number of health conditions - like rheumatoid arthritis or Type 1 diabetes – where there are no cures. But the experience of life for people with these conditions has radically changed, thanks to the development of new treatments.
Over the past 20 years MS research has led to major advances in treatments. Today there are over a dozen licensed treatments for people with relapsing MS, and one for some people with primary progressive MS.
We now know enough about what goes wrong in MS, to know what needs to be done to develop treatments to stop it.
The treatments that do exist work on one aspect of MS: inflammation. We're now investigating treatments that repair myelin - the fatty layer surrounding our nerves that is damaged in MS. And treatments that protect our nerves from more damage.
What progress have we made?
Up to now, we've used our expanding knowledge of the immune system to help people with relapsing MS. We couldn't to do the same for people with progressive MS because, until very recently, we didn't have all the information about why it happens.
In the last few years, research has transformed our understanding of progression. So developing treatments that slow or stop disability is now a very real prospect.
Two major discoveries brought us to this point:
1. Myelin repair is possible
When myelin is damaged it limits messages from the brain and spinal cord getting to the rest of the body. It also exposes the underlying nerve fibres to damage.
Re-myelination treatments are designed to get nerves working again, prevent permanent damage, and help recovery. Researchers have started early clinical trials of treatments and are working to identify others. Thanks to investment from us, the UK is a world leader in myelin repair research.
2. Protecting nerve cells is key to slowing progression
Once a nerve cell is damaged it can’t be replaced. So to slow or stop progression in MS we need to develop treatments that protect the nerves from more damage. In 2017 we co-funded the multi-million pound MS-STAT2 trial, which could deliver the first ever neuroprotective treatment for MS.
Over the past 20 years, MS research has led to major advances in treatment development. No other neurological condition has made such great strides in developing treatments. Prof Jeremy Chataway, neurologist, and MS researcher
We're going to keep on funding groundbreaking research like the MS-STAT2 trial until we achieve our goal: everyone living their lives free from the effects of MS.
Your support makes everything we do possible. Together we can stop MS.
Find support near you
We can't meet face-to-face right now. But there's still lots of ways to connect with people near you who understand what life's like with MS. From coffee mornings to online yoga classes. Put in your postcode to find out what's near you.
The next research breakthrough is in reach
Your donation will help stop MS.
£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.
£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.
£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.
Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.
£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS
£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics
£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks
Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.